With winter now upon all of us in the Chicagoland area, frozen or burst pipes can be a concern. The American Red Cross shared some tips to help homeowners keep their homes safe this winter.
When water freezes, it expands, and the frozen water could burst pipes during cold weather. Water pipes that are outside, like water lines for sprinklers or the hose, and pipes that run against exterior walls could all be in danger of freezing.
There are some easy steps to avoid a costly repair, like a burst pipe. Before cold weather, you should make sure to:
- Drain water from your pool or water sprinkler lines.
- Remove, drain and store garden hoses. Make sure to close inside valves that supply outdoor hose bibs.
- Check around your home for water pipes in unheated areas. You should also know where your main water shutoff valve is, in case a pipe does burst.
During cold weather, you can prevent your pipes from freezing by:
- Opening your bathroom or kitchen cabinet doors to allow warmer air to circulate around the plumbing.
- When weather is very cold, let the cold water drip from your faucets served by exposed pipes. Running the water, even at a trickle, can help stop pipes from freezing.
- Keep your thermostat set at the same temperature during both day and night. Even though this may increase your heating bill, you can prevent a costly repair!
If you do have a frozen pipe, the water will most likely only come out in a trickle. You can try to apply heat to help the pipe unfreeze. You can use an electric heating pad, towels soaked in hot water or an electric hair dryer.
For future protection, you can add insulation to your attic, basement or crawl space. You can also consider relocating exposed pipes to provide extra protection.
If you do have trouble with your plumbing services during the cold weather, call Service 1 any time to schedule a service call.